Spinach & Feta Filo Tartlets

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This delicious recipe came from the home of an acquaintance, yes, acquaintance. It was many many years ago when my kids were homeschooled and we had a get-together in one of the Mom's homes. Potluck was the order of the day. I don't even remember what I brought, but was so enthralled by the taste & texture of this lovely tartlet, I made my way to the kitchen and tried to bribe the cook to hand me the recipe. It was almost too easy!

Now I don't usually resort to such measures, but I did later let the host know how much I loved it and how her cook had leaked out the recipe to me. This lady was such a dear that she handed me a notepad and quickly wrote me the recipe that closely resembled a doctor's prescription.

I hung on to this paper for about 6 years before I made it the first time. And that was just about when I started blogging. And it was so very liberating to finally let go of the tattered artifact of a recipe and have it on the virtual world preserved for eternity. And that, my dear readers, is why I started blogging. I was just hanging on to a stockpile of oxidizing wood product that I was becoming a fire hazard :) 

The recipe is below but I somehow managed to remember to take pictures at every step. Yay me! We start with an oiled cupcake pan, into which filo layers are placed to become the 'cups' for the filling.

A scoop of sautéed spinach, onion and feta is placed into the cups ...

... then followed by the egg, milk and ricotta mixture.

A final scatter of Parmigiano-Reggiano ...

before it goes into the oven and then comes out as these beauties ...

Seriously, if you don't already have filo in your freezer, get it. Always handy to whip up an appetizer in a jiffy. Mini tartlets, single serve pockets, or one big pie, it's just as versatile as puff pastry. 

Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
300 g frozen chopped spinach, thawed
Black pepper, to taste
100 g Feta cheese, crumbled

4 eggs
1 cup milk
100 g ricotta cheese

Filo pastry
Olive oil for brushing

Sprinkling of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. In a pan, heat the olive oil, then sauté the onions with the garlic until the onions turn translucent.
2. Add the chopped spinach, fold it in until just softened, then turn off the heat.
3. When slightly cooled, crumble the feta in.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk and ricotta. Whisk again to blend together.

Now here's where you can conveniently choose to make a bunch of single serve eye-pleasing tartlets or pack it all in in a quiche pan.

1. Prepare a cupcake pan by brushing the insides and rims of the cavities with olive oil.
2. Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F.
3. Brush a sheet of filo with olive oil, fold into a square large enough to fit inside the cavity, then nestle it in, creating a cup.
4. Spoon the spinach mixture into the cups.
5. Then ladle the egg mixture into the cups, just enough to barely cover the filling.
6. Sprinkle with parmesan.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until both filo and cheese get that golden hue.

1. Brush a quiche pan or a round pan with olive oil.
2. Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F.
3. Brush a filo sheet with olive oil, stack the next sheet diagonally over it.
4. Repeat, repeat, repeat .. about 8 layers preferably, with corners not overlapping, rather creating edges that will crisp up nicely.
5. Nestle the sheets into the quiche pan, making sure that there is just about half an inch overhang. If more, you may need to fold it into the filling lest it char and set the smoke alarms off.
6. Spoon the spinach mixture in.
7. Pour in the egg mixture.
8. Sprinkle with parmesan.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Joy said it tastes amazing with Sriracha. I concur.

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